Going to the ER or Urgent Care Center? Evaluating Your Condition

Emergency Care UnitThere are injuries from accidents that require being brought to a hospital’s emergency room. These are typically life-and-death situations, where immediate assistance is required. However, when an injury does require medical attention but isn’t life-threatening, a visit to the ER may not be needed. For those living in Provo-Orem, urgent care may be had in Lehi.

When Urgent Care is Required

As of October 2017, there are about 7,400 urgent care centers in the U.S. These provide immediate medical assistance in cases of non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses if a patient, for instance, is having difficulty in setting an appointment with his or primary care doctor. Urgent care centers are conveniently located near residences and workplaces, allowing patients to get immediate treatment and return home or get back to work in no time.

There are instances where urgent care is the better option. Minor injuries including sprains and cuts that require stitches, and illnesses like flu may be treated at urgent care centers. On the other hand, possible appendicitis, heart attack, stroke, uncontrolled or severe bleeding, and severed limbs are better treated in the emergency room.

Can It Wait?

The patient should also ask himself or herself if a visit to his or her regular doctor is better. If the injury or illness is non-life-threatening, and the pain is bearable, a visit to the family doctor or general practitioner is better. The doctor has the patient’s medical records and can give a proper diagnosis, taking into account the patient’s history. If the person feels more comfortable going to his or her doctor, that would be more convenient.

There are some instances, however, when the pain is intolerable and urgent care is necessary. These include stomach pains and possible ulcers. Convenience is the key to choosing between a doctor, an urgent care center, and the emergency room. If there’s a chance of confinement, the best choice is the ER.

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